The fields of cyber security and digital forensics have grown increasingly important in the past two decades. With white collar and digital crime on the rise, the demand for experienced and educated professionals has grown as well. With this influx, there is also an unbelievable deficit in the industry’s workforce: according to the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), only 25 percent of all computing occupations in the United States are held by women.

The industry as a whole has experienced consistent growth and stellar employment-opportunities. An Information Systems Analyst, for example, is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see a 28 percent increase in job outlook through 2026 due to the growth associated with the field of cyber security. In addition, the Bureau posits that the median salary of an Information Systems Analyst with a bachelor’s degree earns a median salary of $92,600 per year. Even those who have furthered their education have seen exponentially greater opportunities in their field. Computer and Information Research Scientists, for example, are expected to see a 19 percent increase in job outlook through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who have obtained a master’s degree, the typical entry-level education for a Computer and Information Research Scientist, reportedly earn a median salary of $111,840 per year.

Though these are some truly jaw-dropping figures, the real surprise lies in the people holding these jobs. According to an article on Forbes, only 11 percent of the cybersecurity and information security workforce is comprised of women. With so much growth and opportunity waiting to be seized by eager professionals, companies and nonprofits have begun forming outreach campaigns to educate, recruit, and retain women for roles in the cybersecurity field.

Just last month, for example, the organization Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) held their national conference in Chicago where like-minded professionals came together to foster a community of engagement, encouragement and support for women in cybersecurity, as well as promoting others to join them in their field. With over 20 guest speakers, there was something for even the most niche sectors of the industry.

While conferences such as these can easily be overlooked by some, it is an important step to take in battling the cybersecurity industry’s gender problem. The cybersecurity market is incredibly lucrative – with expectations to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020 – and there is virtually no indication that this exponential growth will cease in the coming decades. This leaves tremendous headroom for women to enter the industry. And, with nearly one million cyber security jobs created in 2016 alone, there is certainly no shortage of opportunities for young female professionals to enter the industry.

The opportunity is clearly available. Are you ready to seize it? Stevenson University Online offers multiple forensic programs that provide you with the insight, education, and credentials to advance your career.

Forensics, Law, & Criminal Justice